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William IV – Silver – Rupee

Pattern – 1834

The first pattern for the proposed new rupee was submitted to the Mint Committee on 6th April 1834. Kasinath Dass engraved the dies with the obverse copied from an English sovereign and the reverse wreath from an English model die (Pridmore states that it was a medal). James Prinsep, the Assay Master at the Calcutta Mint, and the instigator of the project for a new coinage, designed the reverse inscriptions. The coin always occurs with a major die flaw on the obverse [1] [2] [3]


Bust of the King facing right. Surrounded by the legend:


 All within a raised, toothed rim.

The value in English:


 with a lotus flower above and the date below. All within a wreath of laurel. Around this is the legend and the value (one rupee) in Hindi (= Ek Rupiya), Persian (= Yek Rupiya) and Bengali (= Ek Rupiya):

 All within a raised, toothed rim.


Official Weight (g)


Actual Weight (g)

Varies. See table below

Actual Diameter (mm)





Varies. See table below





Cat No.


Pr. No.






Weight (g)
























Struck on a thin flan




[1] Bengal Consultations. IOR P/162/49, 5th May 1834, No1.

From Calcutta Mint Committee to Government, dated 15th April 1834.

In the letter which we had the honor to address to your honor in Council on 8th February, on the subject of the dies prepared at the Calcutta mint for the Bombay new copper currency, we stated that we had acceded to a proposition made to us by the Assay Master that Kasinath, the engraver, should be allowed to try his skill in engraving on steel a master die of His Majesty’s head as a specimen of the capabilities of a native artist to conduct this important branch of the mint processes, should it be determined to effect a reform of the device of our Indian coin and to substitute a pictorial representation for the present Persian inscription.

Mr James Prinsep has now laid before us the accompanying specimen coin, the obverse and reverse of which have both been executed by Kasinath. From some unfortunate imperfection in the steel, the die of the King’s head cracked in the process of hardening, for which of course the engraver is not answerable. This accident has not only injured the appearance of the device, but has prevented the possibility of polishing the face of the die. Nevertheless the design is not so far disfigured as to prevent a tolerable judgement being formed of the style of Kasinath’s execution, and the fidelity of his copy from the English sovereign given as a master.

We have sanctioned the payment of 400 rupees, the sum previously stipulated, as a remuneration to Kasinath for the labour of executing the two dies.

Mr Prinsep founds several propositions upon the result of this experiment, which have been set forth at such length in the notes submitted by him to our Committee that, considering the Government to be already in possession of our sentiments on most of the questions embraced, we think it unnecessary to trouble your Honor in Council with more than a brief recapitulation of the important points which we are desirous of once more bringing under the deliberation of the Supreme Government.

We think that the present experiment has fully established the competency of a native die engraver to execute the reform of the dies, whereas hitherto it has been assumed to be indispensable to defer any attempt to effect this object until an European artist should be obtained from England.

We recommend the appointment of Kasinath as head die engraver on a suitable salary and with such assistance as may be found necessary in order that he may prepare matrices of various dies for the approval of Government…..

[2] Bengal Consultations. IOR P/162/83, 24th May 1834, No 28

Letter from Calcutta Mint Committee to Saunders (Mint Master), dated 24th May 1834

I am directed by the Mint Committee to forward the accompanying copy of a letter from the secretary to Government in the General and Financial Department communicating the sanction of Government to the payment of 400 rupees for the dies lately executed by Kasinath, which you are accordingly authorized to disburse.

You will perceive also that you are permitted to engage Kasinath as head engraver on a salary of 250 rupees per month with 50 rupees for workmen, tools and printing presses.

As soon as you may have arranged the accommodation of the new engraver in the mint, the committee direct me to request that you will set him to work in preparing matrices for the proposed reform of the coinage.

[3] Bengal Consultations. IOR P/162/49, 5th May 1834. No 4

Note III from Prinsep, attached to a letter from the Calcutta Mint Committee to Government, dated 15th April 1834.

…I have now the honor to submit the result of the experiment with equal confidence that the artist’s labours will be found to merit the Committee’s approbation.

The obverse of the model coin now presented is a facsimile of the King’s head on the English sovereign with the legend Gulielmus IIII G.G. Britanniarum Rex F.D.  I could not procure a double sovereign nor a half crown of His Present Majesty, either of which would have been preferable in size for the die of the rupee.

The reverse consists of a wreath of laurel copied on a reduced scale from a very beautiful model [medal?] die in the possession of Captain Forbes…